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Last Updated: Monday, 3 March 2008, 00:16 GMT
Major crackdown on gang violence
Gang of youths in Glasgow
The campaign is aimed at cracking down on public order problems
Violence, football hooliganism and public order will be tackled in a major crackdown on gangs in Scotland.

The campaign, headed by the Violence Reduction Unit, will see police working with gang members and others to combat the problems of violence.

It is part of the Safer Scotland anti-violence campaign and follows on from work carried out to reduce incidents involving knives.

The Scottish Government has pledged 200,000 for this latest phase.

Det Ch Insp Andy McKay, Safer Scotland co-ordinator, said: "This form of violence is prevalent across Scotland and can be fuelled by everything from geographical location and place of residence to football.

"It adds to the feelings of social division and fragmentation in certain areas and it can tear the heart out of a community. It will not be tolerated.

We need to do more to make sure our young people don't get caught up in gangs
Kenny MacAskill
Justice Secretary

"We are committed to tackling these issues and making our streets safer for everyone. No-one should feel afraid to walk down their own road at night."

The money will be used by each police force to help fund programmes aimed at changing attitudes and behaviour.

These include schemes to educate aggressive young men to become less violent, reducing the number of people carrying weapons and preventing young people drinking alcohol.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "We need to do more to make sure our young people don't get caught up in gangs and the cycle of drink, drugs, deprivation and crime that it leads to.

"That's why we're investing money seized from criminals to give young people more opportunities through our CashBack for Communities scheme, and providing a pot of 200,000 for forces and their partners to deliver workshops for known gang members.

"Combined with our tough enforcement efforts I believe this can make a real difference - helping to stop people joining gangs and offering a way out to those who are already involved."

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